New York's Times Square to be pedestrianised
$55m project is largest redesign of square in decades
The first stage of a major project to pedestrianise much of New York’s Times Square has been completed by architecture firm Snøhetta.
It features new benches and paving as well as flattening kerbs to create a level surface.
The $55m reconstruction project is the largest redesign of the square in decades and when completed will see the transformation of five public plazas between 42nd and 47th Streets, which will be entirely reconstructed to remove any traces that cars, buses and lorries once ran through the square along Broadway.
Working alongside engineers Weidlinger Associates and landscape architect Mathews Nielsen, the architects plan to open a second plaza by the end of 2015 and complete the entire project the following year.
"Since we first introduced temporary pedestrian plazas in Times Square, we have seen increased foot traffic and decreased traffic injuries - and businesses have seen more customers than ever," said New York’s former mayor Michael Bloomberg, who inaugurated the project.
"With more than 400,000 pedestrians passing through Times Square every day, the plazas have been good for New Yorkers, our visitors, and our businesses - and that's why we're making them permanent."